Study Guide

The Grapes of Wrath Chapter 2

By John Steinbeck

Chapter 2

  • A truck driver makes small talk in a diner with a waitress.
  • Outside a man hangs out around the truck driver's truck. This man is wearing brand new clothes. They aren't fancy clothes, but they are brand spankin' new.
  • The truck driver pays his bill and goes out to his truck, only to find this sketchy man milling about.
  • The sketchy man convinces the truck driver to give him a ride, and the two have a somewhat awkward drive together.
  • The truck driver is really nosy, keeps asking the sketchy man questions, and talks about how he wants to study mechanical engineering one day.
  • The sketchy man has a real name, and it's Tom Joad.
  • Tom drinks whiskey and chitchats with the truck driver.
  • When Tom tells the truck driver to pull over and let him out, he thanks him for his generosity, but tells him not to be so nosy. He also tells the truck driver that he's just gotten out of prison, where he's been for the past four years after being convicted of killing a man. Dum-dum-dummm.